Election decision should be one of optimism
By Cazzy Lewchuk, Staff Writer
On October 19, Canadians elected a majority Liberal federal government, making Justin Trudeau prime minister. This gives Trudeau and the party freedom to pass bills without blockage from opposing parties. While this leads to progress within the Liberal agenda, it causes concern for those who do not agree with this platform or Trudeau’s leadership.
I’m not one of those people. The election’s outcome was one of the best we could have hoped for. However, concerns over a majority government’s power are certainly valid: equal opposition happened under Harper’s majority, several of Trudeau’s policies are controversial, and his experience and qualifications have been questioned. These concerns will continue to be debated thoroughly throughout the Trudeau administration’s reign.
However, such concerns sidestep the main issue: Trudeau was simply the best leader to win this election. The NDP had strong ideals, but divided left-leaning voters into questioning their policies and effectiveness. In addition, the NDP and Liberals frequently agree on policies, which contrasts them with the Conservatives. Bills that oppose and reverse Conservative platforms would have gone through under an NDP government, and should go through with a Liberal. This would also be the case with a Liberal minority and NDP opposition. However, that scenario was and is unlikely to be the case in a country that currently votes between 30–40 per cent Conservative. A Liberal minority with a Conservative opposition would cause a lot of deadlock in Parliament, ultimately hindering progress. This is a scenario that was quite likely to happen in the current election with left-wing vote splitting, but the resulting Liberal majority aids progress.
As with any politician, particularly a new and powerful one, Trudeau should be carefully observed and held to his promises. One major issue is his promise to introduce an alternative voting system to the current first-past-the-post system. Cynics argue that this will derail seats in the Liberal government, and is therefore unlikely to be introduced. I believe Trudeau is not a power-hungry dictator, nor is he foolish enough to make mistakes that will lower his popularity and make people question his abilities—particularly at such an early stage.
An effective government works with the people to ensure change, and the Liberal platform has been consistent in that regard. In a political climate that has been filled largely with disappointment and distrust over the last nine years, I’m looking forward to feeling optimistic about my country’s future. Trudeau may not turn out to be the greatest leader Canada has ever had, and his success will largely depend on the effectiveness of his newfound majority, but until both the Conservatives and NDP rediscover themselves and elect trustworthy, popular leaders, he’s the best we’ve got. It’s almost a guarantee that the Liberal government will undo ineffective policies set by Harper, and introduce new ones that will benefit Canada.
Trudeau’s lack of experience is made up for by the guidance and platform of the party he leads, both at a Cabinet and MP level. His majority makes positive (or “real”) change across Canada much easier to implement. It stops the nitpicking and endless debate in the House of Commons. It gives him the tools to create a successful and popular administration.
Until the NDP and Conservatives can come up with a way to provide policies that work for us all, the Trudeau government is the way to ensure a better Canada. He will learn on the job, make mistakes, and experience high and low career moments. That’s true of all politicians, but right now, he’s the person I trust most to make those mistakes.